When premium services like Netflix and Hulu.com each allow unlimited access to television shows and movies for $7.99 a month, the cable box – physically oversized and technically archaic – begins to seem obsolete. Sure, customer satisfaction surveys from cable users are abysmal. But, for some reason, a majority of Americans are still glued to the good ol’ fashioned boob tube.
Boingboing.net recently covered the Cable Show – which is not a cable TV drama about running a thinly-veiled major cable provider (does that sound as boring to you as it does to me?). It’s an industry conference held a few weeks ago in Boston for networks to showcase new channels and line-ups, and cable providers to flaunt their new technology and distribution services.
With a genuine Apple HDTV still nowhere to be found, Comcast stole the show with the introduction of its X1 service, branded as “the next-generation television experience." Oh, wow. Say goodbye to the grid-based television programming guide and hello to more accessible DVR and video on-demand features, which are sure to piss-off television advertisers even further. X1 will also feature an Apps menu with programs from Facebook, Amazon, Pandora, and more. The service will be available within a few weeks, along with an iPhone app that will work as a remote control.